Friday, May 30, 2014

Announcing a MIRACLE, the NEW RMI OFFICE in Haiti!

Tessa at work at the NEW OFFICE!
You can see more pictures here.
We believe we have experienced a miracle.  We aren't joking or exaggerating.

Background:  For the last several years, we have known that we have an issue of limited office space and not enough missionary housing.  The needs for housing and office space were coming at us like a freight train, and we had no viable options. We have been actively looking for opportunities.  But, every opportunity that WE came up was going to cost way more money than we could dream of, and that God seemed to be providing.  We looked at buying land.  We put a lot of thought into building an office on MEBSH land, but an adequate office to facilitate all that we do was going to cost way more than you would realize.  Although it was WAY WAY outside of reality, we even looked at a facility that was on the market for a million $!  Well, our plans didn't happen, because it wasn't God's plan!
"The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.  The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward." Exodus 14:14-15
The Miracle:  God's Plan.  About 1 month ago, a home that is actually within the boundaries of the MEBSH Mission Center where we live here in Cayes, which has LONG been totally unavailable to MEBSH or it's ministries and missionaries, seemed to become slightly more available.  I say slightly, because when I first heard about it, I thought there was NO WAY it would actually happen and NO WAY we could afford to rent that place. To be honest, I actually drug my feet a little, stewing over things.  But, God placed within me vision and a desire to aggressively pursue.  Well, after many conversations, a little help from some other local missionaries, understanding on behalf of all the other missionaries here on our mission center, and a little careful negotiating, it is official.  We were able to make it happen! Can you believe it is right next to our RMI Depot?  So now, we basically have 2 properties, right next to one another, creating one large facility, that will together house all of our offices, 2 guest rooms, warehouse, mechanic's garage, container storage, truck parking, etc.  I can't go into the details of the contract, but it's a GREAT DEAL that only God could have made happen.

This now means we have rented 3 privately owned facilities,
  1. This one is within the Mission Center boundaries (the new Office)
  2. This one is right next to the Mission Center (our current office but future missionary housing), 
  3. This one is a 5 minute walk (missionary housing for 2 families).  
These 3 homes will provide us complete homes for 3 families, plus additional housing for short-termers and interns, a small guest facility for visitors, and office space for up to 20 desks (we have space for 15 in our current office, but only using 12 currently).

One of our highest values is GOOD STEWARDSHIP, otherwise known as extremely careful and efficient spending and use of resources.  We truly stretch each and every donated dollar way beyond what you would imagine.  I believe God is honored by this fierce commitment and has blessed us accordingly.

These homes and office are going to cost some money to equip, but FAR FAR FAR less than our other plans would have cost.  God is Good.  VERY GOOD.  We are praising Him.

Below is the floor plan of the new office as we currently see it, after a few minor changes that we have made to increase it's function.  It needs a LOT of clean up as it has sat basically unused for 5 years.  It has no furniture.  It has no kitchen.  It needs new doors and windows, it has no fans, few lights, and it needs A LOT of paint.  But, God provided the home, and we believe he will provide a way to equip it for the ministry.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014 Missionary Ladies Retreat

This is the 4th year I’ve been involved in planning and organizing a ladies retreat for the missionary ladies in southern Haiti.  It’s held each year at RMI’s Retreat Center in Zanglais.  It’s a great time of fellowship, relaxation, worship and teaching.  There is always something so special about being able to sit under strong Biblical teaching that is in my heart language—English!  Just that alone is relaxing and refreshing.


This year, we were thrilled to welcome back Gale Kernitz and Sheila Clark, as our speakers for the weekend.  They were here two years ago and the ladies responded so well to what God had put on their hearts to teach us from His Word.  This year was no different.  Before they came, they asked if they could bring their daughters with them and we were so glad they did!  Gale’s daughter, Elle Tyler, is an accomplished pianist.  Before the retreat, she performed a classical piano concert for the missionary community; a real treat for us here.  She also took a lot of pressure off me by planning and leading our worship sessions during the retreat.  Sheila’s daughter, Meaghan, came as well.  She really helped with the decorations and craft.  It was fun to get to know them all better.1794646_10152476339908690_5230241766926743964_n








Our theme for the weekend was “Sharpening the Tools in Your Toolbox.”  We dug into God’s Word and sharpened our relationship tools, gospel tools, discipleship tools and prayer tools.  They gave us some good visual tools to help us think through these areas, so our weekend was filled with shapes: circle, square, figure eight, triangle and hexagon.  For example, my favorite tool was the Lord’s Prayer Hexagon.  Looking at Matthew 6:9-13, we talked about the 6 areas that Christ modeled to us when he taught his disciples to pray:  The Father’s Character, His Kingdom, His Provision, His Forgiveness, His Protection and His Deliverance.  After spending some time talking about the different tools, they gave us time to put them into practice.  My prayer life has been revitalized using this tool.

The weekend also has some down time, which is always a highlight.  Some went to the beach, some went hiking, some took naps, some played games, some kept crafting…  Of course, a huge and very competitive game of catch phrase has become a tradition every year.  That is especially fun playing with some of the ladies whose native language is German!

I’m always thankful for this time away with other sisters in Christ.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Ladies Win With a 100% Perfect A+!

Way to go Becky and Star.  The Ladies win!  They got 100% on their "Vision Test".

RMI has developed our Mission, our Motivations, our Model, and our Measures (See it here).  It keeps us pointed in ONE direction.  As a staff we want to live and breath these foundations.  So, I gave a test!

Today, the Leadership Team (Benjamin, Benson, Greg, Star, Becky and Myself) took some time, to test ourselves in completing a totally blank sheet with all of this information from memory.  We have been studying for weeks, and let's just say that a few of us missed a few words.  But, Becky and Star both got a 100% perfect A+!  Well done.

We will test again, until the rest of us "slower" team members can match Becky and Star...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Divine Appointment

Sometimes life is about Divine appointments, not about current circumstances. Recently, RMI president, Dan Shoemaker, was with a team in the mountains of Haiti where they found the road blocked by a landslide. In the long line of vehicles waiting with them for the road crew to rebuild the road was a UN truck and several UN peacekeepers. They struck up a conversation with one of the men who turned out to be from Africa. At the end of the conversation they gave him a Bible. A short time later his superior, a man from the Middle East, sought us out to ask, “Do you have another Bible? I want one too.” Dan dug his Bible out of the luggage and presented it to him, explaining the different features it had as a leadership study Bible. He said, “I’m going to read this! I have a friend who is a Christian and I’m going to ask him to explain it to me.” 

They were stuck on the road for 8 hours. They had things to do, places to go and people to meet. However, God used a landslide to stop them in their tracks so they could be in the right place at the right time, to be where He wanted them for a Divine appointment.

Who knows where it will lead. But the seed was planted in the most unlikely of places to the most unlikely of people.